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Use your CMS to improve intranet content

We have written a number of articles on how to improve intranet content including Improving intranet content and Helping intranet authors write quality content. Most of these activities focus on intranet teams and authors.

This article focuses on items that should be considered when selecting or implementing a content management system (CMS).

For those that have an existing CMS, use this article as a checklist to ensure the technology is being used to the organisation and intranet team’s advantage.

Enforce formatting through templates and stylesheets

Removing much of the need for a style guide, templates and stylesheets that enforce standard formatting allow for a consistent look and feel, and standardise placement of pages of common elements, such as related content.

Formatting controls in the CMS editing tool should also be locked down to ensure consistency. This makes it easy for intranet authors to do the right thing.

Display last modified date and owner on published pages

It is important that users are never left at a dead end on the intranet. While intranet content may answer most questions staff have, they may need clarification or more information in unusual circumstances. Displaying the owner on each page ensures that staff know where to go for more information.

Displaying the last modified date helps build trust that the content is accurate and regularly updated. It can also be a reminder and highlight content and pages that are in need of review.

[October article by Rebecca Rodgers, read the full article]

James Robertson
James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two, the global thought leaders on intranets, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. James is the author of the best-selling books Essential intranets, Designing intranets and What every intranet team should know. He has keynoted conferences around the globe. (Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google+)